Top cornerback targets rave about Clemson after taking in spring football game

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  • Ryan Turner
    American association footballer
  • Brent Venables
    Brent Venables
    American football player and coach

Ryan Turner (6-0 180) of Hollywood, Florida is another big-time cornerback being strongly pursued by Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed.

Turner and his family are similarly interested in the Tigers and spent four days last week on Clemson’s campus. They culminated the visit by attending the spring game Saturday.

“For players it may seem like a scrimmage or like a competitive practice, but they were playing as a game,” Turner said. “People going crazy on the sideline, players jumping around once their teammates made plays — I was really surprised by that.”

Turner was on a personal visit. Due to the ongoing NCAA recruiting dead period, he wasn’t allowed to meet with the coaches or go inside the athletic facilities. He and his family members had to buy their tickets just like other fans. He also had to find some things to do around Clemson for the time they were there.

“Spring game, me and my parents drove around the campus a few times, seeing the campus at nighttime, seeing the campus during the day,” Turner said. “We ate at some famous restaurants in the city. It’s cool, a very relaxed city, a very laid-back city. I thought the campus was smaller, but seeing it in person, it’s bigger in person. I can adapt to it.”

As for the football team, Turner focused on the cornerbacks, or lack thereof, on the field during Saturday’s game.

“That means it’s a chance I could play early. That’s really what I like about the situation that they have at corner,” Turner said. “I love how coach Venables has his corners disguise the coverages. You really don’t know if they are in man coverage or in zone. I really like that.

“I think they have four scholarship corners on the roster right now, so that’s a big thing because that means I have a better chance of playing early there than going to a school that has six or seven corners already on the roster.”

Turner didn’t get to see Venables or Reed while in Clemson, but they were quickly on the phone with him once his visit was over.

“They really just asked me how I liked it and what I liked about it,” Turner said. “They were really just telling me I’m a a top guy on the board, so we’re not putting any pressure on you to commit, but we want you.”

Turner also has been to Ohio State unofficially and is going to check out Boston College this week. He is returning to Ohio State for the spring April 17, and has scheduled an official visit with the Buckeyes for June 11, the same weekend of the Clemson Elite Retreat. He is also considering a visit to Ole Miss.

Miami also is a factor — Turner said he can easily visit Coral Cables any time, but he hasn’t been there much. He said Clemson, Ohio State and Boston College have been recruiting him the hardest.

Turner is rated a four-star in the 247Sports Composite and is ranked 33rd nationally among 2022 cornerbacks. He had 45 tackles and two interceptions last season.

Toriano Pride update

Clemson has moved quickly up the board with cornerback Toriano Pride (5-11, 172) of St. Louis since offering him a few months ago. He made his second visit to campus Saturday, this time with his family, to take in the spring game.

Clemson is right in the mix with Georgia, Ohio State and Alabama. The weekend visit was another positive check mark for the Tigers.

“It went really good. I loved the atmosphere and all the people treated me like family, some of the other recruits and commits, that felt really good,” Pride said. “I loved the weather down there. They looked really good for their spring game, they played well. I just got to build a lot of relationships with some of the commits and recruits.”

Pride first visited Clemson in February with his seven-on-seven team that had played in Myrtle Beach. On that trip he only got to walk around the campus because of the dead period. Saturday was the first time inside Memorial Stadium.

“It was live. I didn’t know the stadium was that big,” Pride said. “I was just really surprised. I didn’t think it was that big on TV. That was a big surprise.”

Pride wasn’t allowed to meet with any of the Clemson coaches. But they knew he was there. Corners coach Mike Reed has built a strong relationship with Pride and no doubt this visit enhanced Clemson’s position with him.

“Clemson is in a really good spot with me,” he said. “I’ve built a lot of relationships with current players, so I got to see it from a perspective of people on the team.”

Pride said he will return to Clemson for a third time for their Elite Retreat weekend June 11. Again, that will be a personal visit for him. He has an official visit set with Ohio State the weekend prior. He also plans to set visits with Alabama and Georgia.

NOTE: Clemson is in the top 8 with safety Azareyeh Thomas of Niceville, Florida. The others are Florida, LSU, Miami, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Louisville.